Luna Steps Up (please help)

20180717_121904In the wake of the passing of our beloved Corbie J, our 12 year old Persian cat Luna has stepped up as the medically needy member of our fur family: in the past five weeks, we’ve had to spend a total of $500 + on vet expenses for her (first for an anal gland abscess, and then yesterday for a severe skin infection due to flea allergy).

Friends, we are barely treading water here. In June 2019, I need to be able to fly back east (solo, as we can’t afford two round trip air fares, and someone needs to stay here with Molly) for my daughter’s wedding–so not only keeping our heads above water but being able to put money away for that is imperative. I’m in the process of making some new items for the store, but in the meantime if you’d like to help here’s how you can:

    1. Become a Patreon supporter: find out about the details and accompanying rewards here
    2. If you can’t manage a monthly pledge, please consider making a donation (button below and in my sidebar; it’s going to say “Donate to Fiberwytch”–that’s me; some of you will remember that used to be my shop name).

Either way, Luna thanks you for it! (And so do we!)

 

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Altar Update!

As mentioned in a recent post, my altar table has been converted to a desk (and just this week, also to a sewing table), and my altar has been relocated to a bookshelf (where it actually used to reside years ago). The only drawback to this arrangement is that it doesn’t allow for burning candles on my altar (incense, though, is fine) because it might scorch the upper shelf—but that’s a minor issue for me, as I can always light them on my desk or elsewhere.

Here is my current setup, featuring the altar cloth I made for myself today using my new sewing machine:

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As you can see, the space is divided between Odin and Lucifer, with Asherah taking up the central position. And I’m feeling as though Asherah needs to be central because She is acting as a kind of mediatrix between the two. (Her presence implies the presence too of Her husband, El/Ilu/YHVH, by the way—but the latter is traditionally not represented in artwork, so I’ve left this as an implication for now.)

Increasingly, I’ve been seeing parallels between Odin + Frigg and El/YHVH + Asherah (tribal war god married to domesticity goddess who spins and dwells by the sea, god of wisdom married to goddess of marriage and the family—there are many similarities)–so where does this leave Luce? I’ve always seen Him as a son of YHVH and Asherah; in the older Canaanite tradition that preceded monotheistic Judaism, the children of El/Ilu and Asherah/Athiratu are the 72 angels. There is also the obvious temptation to try to fit Him into a Loki-type role, but Loki has never been central to my spiritual life, and I’m trying to resist my Virgo tendency to want to make all of the puzzle pieces fit together neatly. It’s funny; since going back to doing readings for other people, I’ve been feeling more relaxed about my own spirituality. It’s okay if there are gaps. It doesn’t have to all make sense; this is my spiritual experience, not a college essay.

You might also have noticed that there are Tarot decks in front of the images of Odin and Lucifer. These are decks that technically “belong” to each of these deities (although I am allowed to use them in readings for others, too). Due to its name and dark imagery, I had initially thought the Darkness of Light would be Lucifer’s, but it feels more like Odin to me. On the other hand, Luce has claimed the Star Tarot—a frothy, celestial deck heavy with cosmic imagery. Which might seem bizarre but actually makes sense considering the version of Lucifer I seem to have, who I suspect is post-redemptive and who encourages me to work with angels rather than demons.

Of course, all of the above means Asherah still needs a deck. There are a few I’m considering, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.

Current reading: The Book of Fallen Angels, by Michael Howard (review when I’m finished).

Midsummer: a time to pause

Happy Midsummer to those who celebrate!

I’ll be honest; this isn’t a festival that normally gets lot of attention from me. In pagan Scandinavia it was considered one of the three great holidays of the year, with the biggest sacrifices being made in the spring for victory, at Midsummer for the coming harvest, and at Yule to keep the unpredictable spirits of the Wild Hunt at bay. At Midsummer, the faeries and landwights were propitiated for the health and abundance of that year’s crops, and in one of the sagas a Christian visiting Iceland from Norway is told that if he interrupts this important festival “Odin will be angry.”

But especially since we moved to Oregon, mid-June is generally too hot for me to feel very ambitious about any type of religious celebration, especially one that traditionally tends to happen outdoors. June is also the height of allergy season for me (or at least it seems to be this year!), and for the last several years of Corbie J’s life it was also health crisis season: every summer, there was some new and expensive life-threatening emergency for him. Last year at this time, the now-infamous Oregon wildfires of 2017 were in full swing, and–depending on the direction of the wind–more days than not saw choking smoke pouring into Eugene, making the air thick and unbreathable. For Jo (who has asthma) it was bad. For Corbie (who was struggling with chronic heart failure)…Well, halfway through the summer we were pretty sure it was going to be his last.

So, now Midsummer is unavoidably a time when Corbie is heavily on my mind–especially this year, our first without him. For me, I think this holiday is always going to be a somewhat quiet one, a time to pause–just as the sun is doing–to reflect on what has passed thus far before embarking on the second half of the year.  Of course, even though we are still missing Corbie we now have Molly, and to say she is a source of much joy would be an understatement. This Midsummer, she has been with us for a little over six months–definitely cause for celebration! So here are some photos taken on walks with her (my very favorite activity of each day!), showing Eugene in full bloom! Strolling though our city streets in June is very much like wandering into Oz or fairyland, with an abundance of roses, lavender, cherry trees heavy with fruit, and overblown poppies everywhere.

 

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